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And yet we should, for perpetuity,
Go hence in debt. And therefore, like a cipher,
Sir, that's to-morrow. I am questioned by my fears, of what may chance, Or breed upon our absence: that1 may blow No sneaping winds at home, to make us say, This is put forth too truly! Besides, I have staid To tire your royalty.
Leon. We are tougher, brother, Than you can put us to't.
I'll no gainsaying.
Pol. Press me not, 'beseech you, so. There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'the world, So soon as yours, could win me; so it should now, Were there necessity in your request, although 'Twere needful I denied it. My affairs Do even drag me homeward; which to hinder Were, in your love, a whip to me; my stay, To you a charge and trouble. To save both, Farewell, our brother.
Tongue-tied, our queen? Speak you. Her. I had thought, sir, to have held my peace,
You had drawn oaths from him not to stay. You, sir,
1 That for Oh that! is not uncommon in old writers.
2 Sneaping, nipping.
3 i. e. to make me say, I had too good reason for my fears concerning what may happen in my absence from home.
The by-gone day proclaimed; say this to him,
Well said, Hermione. Her. To tell he longs to see his son, were strong: But let him say so then, and let him go;
But let him swear so, and he shall not stay;
We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.
Yet of your royal presence [To POL.] I'll adventure
Her. Nay, but you will?
My prisoner, or my guest?
You put me off with limber vows; but I,
Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with
I may not, verily.
Should yet say, Sir, no going. Verily,
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?
By your dread verily,
Your guest, then, madam: To be your prisoner, should import offending; Which is for me less easy to commit,
Than you to punish.
Not your jailer, then,
1 To let had for its synonymes to stay or stop; to let him there, is to stay him there. Gests were scrolls in which were marked the stages or places of rest in a progress or journey, especially a royal one.
2 i. e. indeed, in very deed, in troth. Good deed is used in the same sense by the earl of Surrey, sir John Hayward, and Gascoigne.
But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you
We were, fair queen, Two lads that thought there was no more behind, But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy eternal.
Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o' the two? Pol. We were as twinned lambs, that did frisk i'the sun,
And bleat the one at the other. What we changed,
By this we gather,
Grace to boot! 2
lest you say,
Yet, go on;
Of this make no conclusion;
Is he won yet?
Leon. Her. He'll stay, my Leon. At my request he would not. Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok❜st To better purpose.
1 i. e. setting aside the original sin, bating the imposition from the offence of our first parents, we might have boldly protested our innocence. 2 "Grace to boot; " an exclamation equivalent to give us grace.
Never, but once.
Her. What? have I twice said well? When was't
I pr'ythee, tell me. Cram us with praise, and make us
Why, that was when
And clap1 thyself my love; then didst thou utter,
It is grace, indeed.
[Giving her hand to POLIXENES.
1 At entering into any contract, or plighting of troth, this clapping of hands together set the seal. Numerous instances of allusion to the custom have been adduced by the editors; one shall suffice, from the old play of Ram Alley: "Come, clap hands, a match." The custom is not yet disused in common life.
"from bounty, fertile bosom." Malone thinks that a letter has been omitted, and that we should read—
from bounty's fertile bosom."
As now they are; and making practised smiles,
Ay, my good lord.
Leon. I'fecks? Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutched thy nose?—
They say, it's a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
[Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE. Upon his palm?-How now, you wanton calf? Art thou my calf?
Yes, if you will, my lord.
Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have, 4
To be full like me: yet, they say, we are
1 i. e. the death of the deer. The mort was also certain notes played on the horn at the death of the deer.
2 "Bawcock." A burlesque word of endearment supposed to be derived from beau-coq, or boy-cock. It occurs again in Twelfth Night, and in King Henry V., and in both places is coupled with chuck or chick. It is said that bra'cock is still used in Scotland.
3 Still playing with her fingers as a girl playing on the virginals. Virginals were stringed instruments played with keys like a spinnet, which they resembled in all respects but in shape, spinnets being nearly triangular, and virginals of an oblong square shape like a small piano-forte.
4 Thou wantest a rough head, and the budding horns that I have. A pash in some places denoting a young bull calf whose horns are springing; a mad pash, a mad-brained boy.
5 i. e. entirely.
6 i. e. old, faded stuffs, of other colors, dyed black.
7 Welkin is blue; i. e. the color of the welkin or sky.